E CITY, which stands for Entrepreneurship: Connecting, Inspiring and Teaching Youth, is a 70-hour semester-long class that teaches entrepreneurial, business and life skills to high school students. The program is currently available to students at Harvey High School in Painesville.
When Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Ohio brought the E CITY program to Lake County, they added a unique element that makes it unlike other E CITY programs. Big Brothers Big Sisters provides each student, or group of students with their own business mentor(s).
Business mentors are members of the local business community who stay with their student throughout the semester-long course offering advice, encouragement and guidance. The class meets one day a week for approximately one hour on the same day each week. It is taught by a specially trained teacher, is free to students and is considered part of their curriculum for which they receive course credit.
- Guides students in writing business plans
- Introduces them to business role models
- Exposes them to field trips, guest speakers, and hands-on activities
- Teaches them proper business etiquette
- Helps them develop a deeper appreciation of what is required to run a business and become better employees
At the end of the semester, students compete among themselves for 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes. The 1st and 2nd place winners go on to compete against participating schools in other counties in a city-wide E CITY competition held in Cleveland. Our pilot program took place during the second semester of the 2008-2009 school year at Harvey High. Since our program began, we are incredibly proud to say; our 1st and 2nd place E CITY Lake County students have gone on to place in the city-wide competition!
Their success has been credited, in part, to the fact that the business mentors they were matched with stayed with them not only throughout the course but helped in preparing them for the competitions, as well.
With a small investment of time and/or financial support you can be part of a life changing program…one that ultimately benefits all who live and work in Lake County.